You’re enjoying your dinner when a sharp pain explodes in your mouth. Or, maybe you’re brushing your teeth and you feel a throbbing pain in a tooth. Welcome to the unfortunate world of the toothache.
If you have a toothache, you probably aren’t alone. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare says that in 2013, 16% of adults with natural teeth experienced a toothache in the previous 12 months, and a study in the Journal of the American Dental Association notes that the toothache is the most common cause of oral pain.
We often associate tooth pain with cavities or tooth decay. But, cavities aren’t the only thing that can cause tooth pain, as Bondi Dental has learned over the years.
Causes of Toothache
Toothaches can be caused by a variety of conditions. Here are some of the most common.
An infection in the tooth or gums can cause a toothache. Infections can lead to dental abscesses, or pockets of pus at the end of the tooth or in the gums. One of the symptoms of a dental abscess is a throbbing, sharp pain near the tooth. The pain can seem to radiate to the jaw, ear, or neck. The pain often worsens when you lie down. The pain from a dental abscess is enough to disrupt your life, making it difficult to sleep or concentrate.
Dental abscesses don’t go away without treatment. In fact, they can become worse or spread to other areas of the body if they are not treated.
Sensitive teeth can be extremely painful. If you feel painful sensations when you eat something cold, hot or spicy, you probably suffer from sensitive teeth.
Enamel erosion is one of the primary causes of sensitive teeth. If your tooth enamel wears off or becomes thin, the dentin beneath it becomes exposed. The dentin contains the tooth’s nerve endings, and they react when exposed to hot, cold, or other stimulating substances.
Broken Or Chipped Teeth
There’s another cause of tooth pain unrelated to cavities, and that’s when your teeth are broken, fractured or chipped. You can chip your tooth when you crunch on hard food or if you get hit in the mouth. Cracked teeth alone can be painful, and if left untreated they often continue to crack, eventually exposing your dentin and resulting in pain and the need for expensive treatment.
Bruxism, or tooth-grinding, can also indirectly cause toothache. The pressure you put on your teeth if you grind them can wear away enamel, creating nerve pain and damage. Grinding your teeth regularly can also cause them to break or chip, which then leads to toothache.
Dental alignment devices are a common cause of aching in teeth. Pain usually occurs right after adjustments, which tighten braces and shift teeth, but normally this pain subsides after a few days.
Misaligned Teeth Or Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Misaligned teeth can push against others, forcing them out of line as well, causing pain in the process. Impacted wisdom teeth can also be extremely painful.
However, the number one cause of toothaches is just what you probably expected!
While tooth decay and cavities are often associated with toothaches, pain isn’t the first sign of a cavity. This is good news, because it means that with regular dental care at Bondi Dental, many toothaches can be headed off before they occur!
Tooth decay occurs when the natural bacteria in your mouth convert sugar from the foods you eat into acid. The acid eats away at tooth enamel, eventually boring a hole. If this process is caught early enough, it’s possible to reverse a cavity by strengthening the enamel. That’s part of the reason why it is so important to see your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups.
By the time you get to the point where a cavity is causing pain, it usually needs more drastic treatment, such as a filling. If the decay is advanced, your dentist might need to remove the damaged tooth and replace it with an implant. To avoid that, of course, visit your Bondi Dental dentist frequently!
Working with Bondi Dental to treat your toothache
Don’t ignore tooth pain. Whether it is caused by decay, damage, or sensitivity, treating a toothache is critical to maintain the health of your mouth and your body. To learn more about tooth pain and your treatment options, schedule a consultation with us at Bondi Dental. We have the skills, training, and technology to diagnose the cause of your pain and recommend options for treatment. We are your partner in a pain-free mouth!
The Bondi Dental Advantage
Bondi Dental is located in the Sydney area, at Bondi Beach. We offer high quality dental preventative, restorative, and cosmetics services for all patients. Bondi Dental offers free parking at the rear of the building and FREE Dental Consultation including a complete dental check-up.
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